BERLIN, Germany (A.W)— Germany says that it would be inappropriate for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to hold a rally in front of his supporters in Germany on the sidelines of the G20 summit.
In a June 29 statement released by the German Foreign Ministry, Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel confirmed that Erdogan’s request for the G20 summit next week would be rejected.
“I had already communicated to my Turkish colleague weeks ago that we do not believe this is a good idea,” said Gabriel in the statement. “I also openly stated that such a public appearance would neither be appropriate nor politically apposite, given the current tensions that exist with Turkey.
“I think we should now tell all countries that are not EU members—not only Turkey—that we will not permit campaign appearances here that are intended to import another country’s internal conflicts into Germany,” continued the statement.
The German Foreign Minister also said that the federal government agrees with him on the issue.
In response to the statement by Gabriel, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hüseyin Müftüoğlu said that the Turkish Foreign Ministry condemns and refuses Gabriel’s “unacceptable remarks.”
“It is regretful that some German politicians make unacceptable political remarks ostensibly for domestic consumption while German authorities request for organizational purposes, the placing of a formal request as regards the venue for the meeting with the Turkish nationals within the context of the visit that President Erdogan will make to Hamburg for the G20 meeting,” said Ministry spokesperson Müftüoğlu in a statement.
Erdogan will attend the G20 summit in Hamburg next week where the summit will be taking place from July 7-8. This will be his first visit to Germany since he and several of his Ministers accused Germany and other European countries of “Nazi-like” practices for blocking campaigning for the most recent constitutional referendum in Turkey that granted him all-encompassing presidential powers in April.
In the last year, Turkish-German relations have greatly declined. The leader of Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) Martin Schulz told German daily “Bild” any Erdogan rally should be banned over concerns about the authoritarian nature of his government.
“Foreign politicians who trample on our values when at home must not be allowed a stage for speeches in Germany,” said Schulz, according to German based Deutsche Welle news. “I don’t want Mr. Erdogan, who jails opposition politicians and journalists in Turkey, to hold big rallies in Germany.”
On June 7, the German Defense Ministry announced that it would pull out its troops from Turkey’s Incirlik airbase. Approximately 270 troops stationed at Incirlik, as well as Tornado reconnaissance jets and a refueling plane, will be moved to Jordan over the next two months.
The decision to remove German troops sparked when a group of German Parliamentarians were refused to access the airbase. The German troops in Turkey have been responsible for operating reconnaissance and refueling flights as part of the international mission against ISIS/Daesh.
German politicians have also condemned Erdogan’s crackdown on those opposing the government since a coup attempt against him in July 2016.